Cordon lifted after Royal Navy bomb disposal team called to West Street, Fareham as shopping precinct is evacuated by police
HUNDREDS of shoppers in Fareham have been evacuated amid a bomb scare in the town centre.
Bomb disposal experts from the Royal Navy have been scrambled to the West Street to tackle the ongoing situation.
Police have enforced a 100m cordon of the popular shopping district.
It follows the discovery of a suspicious package, Hampshire Constabulary confirmed.
See our live blog below for more coverage of the incident
Footage from the scene shows hundreds of shoppers having been evacuated from the scene.
Police were called just after 12pm and the cordon was lifted at around 4pm.
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LIVE UPDATES: Fareham town centre evacuated over suspect package
Last updated: Thursday, 22 July, 2021, 16:14
- Cordon lifted at 4pm
- Royal Navy bomb disposal on scene
- Hundreds of shoppers evacuated
Police were quick to get people to safety
Bus services affected
More on bus changes
Police on the cordon
Police were called at 12.16pm
The incident is still playing out with police, firefighters and the ambulance service on scene. Royal Navy bomb disposal experts are there for the suspect package
'We were told to evacuate’
Jo Satherley, a member of the library staff, and Mandy Watmough, from the school library service, are waiting to see if they can go back in the library building, which is taped off. Speaking to our reporter Emily Turner, Jo said: 'We were told to evacuate, and we had to leave, although everyone's got what they need - wallets and keys. I just want to know what's going on.' Mandy added: 'I'm not feeling worried, but I would like to get in so I can close the windows properly.'
Delivery drivers stuck
Delivery driver Matt Hawkins said: 'We're trying to deliver meds to Boots, and we don't know how long we're going to have to wait.'
His colleague Steve Tucker added: 'I heard from my wife that there was a package reported in the precinct. I do understand, they've got to do the right thing. I think it will probably take a while.'
Change of routes
Bomb disposal robot
Disposal robot moves off - cordon set to end
That last image showed the RN bomb disposal robot through the alleyway connecting Westbury Road and Osborn Road. It’s now left the area.
Emergency services at the scene tell our reporter the cordon is soon to be lifted in a staggered way.
Scene guard PC relieved
Local Fareham bobby PC Steve Cann, who announced the town centre open and pulled the tape down. He’s been stood in the hot sun for two hours in 14lb of kit.
Live blog ends
That’s it from us on the live blog - but we’ll stay on the case and bring you more updates when we know more about what the suspect package turned out to be.